Robert Muggah

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Por ser el sumidero de carbono terrestre más grande del mundo, el Amazonas es un frente clave en la lucha contra el cambio climático. Pero también alberga un submundo criminal floreciente que podría minar los esfuerzos por reducir las emisiones de gases de tipo invernadero. En verdad, revertir el cambio climático no tiene que ver solamente con regular a los contaminadores; también tiene que ver con combatir el crimen organizado.

La deforestación en el Amazonas se ha acelerado rápidamente en los últimos años, lo que resultó en una pérdida impresionante de cubierta arbórea. Desde los años 1970, alrededor de una quinta parte de la zona ha sido arrasada para la agroindustria, la explotación forestal y la minería; el 50-80% de esa deforestación es consecuencia de actividades ilegales, que incluyen la minería de oro.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un año para actuar

Esperemos que 2019 sea el año en que comience a invertirse la tendencia histórica. En 2018, las divisiones intra e internacionales no dejaron de profundizarse. Y a la par de la transformación que las tensiones geopolíticas y el tribalismo político han provocado en las relaciones internacionales y en la política nacional, nuevas tecnologías trastocan viejos supuestos sobre la seguridad, la política y la economía. Esto se complica todavía más por la creciente interdependencia de nuestras sociedades. Todos estamos cada vez más sujetos a fuerzas que escapan al control de cualquier país, ciudad o persona por separado (sobre todo en lo referido al cambio climático).…  Seguir leyendo »

Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist candidate for Brazil’s presidency, before he cast his vote in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 7, 2018.CreditCreditMauro Pimentel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

An ultra-right-wing populist is poised to assume the presidency of the world’s fourth-largest democracy. Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, won more than 46 percent of the vote during the first round of Brazil’s presidential election on Sunday. He will face the runner-up, Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party in a runoff on Oct. 28. Mr. Haddad secured just 27 percent of the vote. Even if all other leftist and centrist candidates endorse him, he will struggle to stop Mr. Bolsonaro’s ascent.

Brazilians are frustrated, disillusioned and angry. Well before Mr. Bolsonaro’s rise, they were protesting against cynical politics, spiraling corruption, economic stagnation and breathtaking levels of crime.…  Seguir leyendo »

El orden internacional liberal está bajo ataque. El compromiso de 70 años de Occidente con la seguridad común, los mercados abiertos y la democratización se está deshilachando, y el mundo está avanzando rápidamente de un orden mundial unipolar a uno multipolar. Este cambio tendrá consecuencias dramáticas -y potencialmente peligrosas.

Muchos países latinoamericanos que se han beneficiado con el orden liberal, particularmente Brasil, parecen indiferentes a su posible deceso. Para entender los motivos, debemos revisar la creación del post-1945 por parte de Estados Unidos y sus aliados europeos.

Los arquitectos del orden liberal global construyeron una red de tratados internacionales, acuerdos comerciales y alianzas militares para alcanzar tres objetivos básicos: la promoción del comercio abierto, la prevención de guerras catastróficas y la disuasión del nacionalismo económico reemplazando un acuerdo centenario de suma cero por un marco de suma positiva en el cual todos los países participantes podrían prosperar.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police investigators carry a body to a forensic vehicle, after a shootout between private security guards and gang members, at the central market in San Salvador, El Salvador on March 15, 2017. (Salvador Melendez / Associated Press)

ll migrants have two lives — the one they are living now, and the one from before. In El Salvador, Rosa Maria was a sociologist. After fleeing to Long Island, N.Y., in 2002, she found work cleaning Manhattan apartments by day and fast-food restaurants by night. Her children have embraced the American dream. One daughter is studying to be a psychologist; her son is a journalist.

The Trump administration’s decision to end temporary protected status for about 200,000 Salvadorans will soon bring Rosa Maria’s second life to an end. Salvadorans were first granted TPS in 2001 after a large earthquake struck El Salvador, but the Department of Homeland Security now argues that the “original conditions” no longer exist.…  Seguir leyendo »

Venezuela’s violent crime epidemic appears to be escalating into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. The precise dimensions are hard to know, however, because along with the collapse of the economy and widespread hunger has come a near blackout of reliable government crime statistics.

The Venezuelan government stopped publishing comprehensive crime data more than a decade ago, and the discrepancies between what authorities say and data released by independent organizations are extreme.

For instance, local officials announced that 17,778 Venezuelans were victims of homicide in 2015. But the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a nongovernmental group, estimated that there were 27,875 murders that year, which would make Venezuela’s homicide rate one of the highest in the world, at 90 killings per 100,000 residents.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los primeros días de 2017 en Brasil iniciaron con 17 horas de violencia. Miembros de un cartel del narcotráfico llamado Familia del Norte masacraron a miembros de su rival, Primer Comando de la Capital (PCC), una de las pandillas más grandes del país. Los asesinatos ocurrieron en el interior de una prisión de administración privada en la ciudad de Manaos, al norte del país. Al menos 56 personas fueron asesinadas y cerca de 180 pandilleros escaparon, de los cuales 140 siguen prófugos. La policía estatal se mostró renuente a intervenir en el enfrentamiento, por temor a empeorar la situación.

En las paredes grafiteadas de la prisión aparecieron mensajes de advertencia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Brazil’s first days of 2017 were baptized by 17 hours of violence. Members of a drug ring called Familia do Norte (Family of the North) massacred members of the rival Primeiro Comando da Capital (First Command of the Capital), or P.C.C., one of the country’s largest gangs. The bloodletting occurred inside a privately administered prison in the northern city of Manaus. At least 56 people were slaughtered, and some 180 gang members escaped, 140 of whom are still at large. The state police were reluctant to intervene in the fight, fearing they might make the situation even worse.

The warning signs were written on the prison’s graffiti-lined walls.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mientras Brasil pasa por la peor crisis política y económica de que se tenga memoria, resulta difícil culpar a los brasileños por estar distraídos. Sin embargo, hay un tema del que los políticos del país —y los ciudadanos— no están hablando, aun cuando esto podría mancillar la reputación internacional de Brasil como defensor de la consolidación de la paz y la diplomacia: una industria armamentista desenfrenada y su participación en los conflictos mundiales.

El rastro de las empresas de armamento más grandes de Brasil está apareciendo cada vez más en lugares de conflicto en todo el mundo, como en Yemen, donde miles de civiles perecen en una guerra feroz a la que no se le ve fin.…  Seguir leyendo »

As Brazil weathers the worst political and economic crises in living memory, Brazilians can hardly be blamed for being distracted. But there is a subject that the country’s politicians — and citizens — are not discussing, even though it risks tarnishing Brazil’s international reputation as an advocate of peacebuilding and diplomacy: an unchecked arms industry and its involvement in foreign conflicts around the globe.

The fingerprints of Brazil’s largest arms companies are turning up in a growing number of the world’s hot spots, including Yemen, where thousands of civilians are perishing in a punishing war with no end in sight. An investigation last month into Forjas Taurus, the Brazilian firearms manufacturer, revealed that the company supplied weapons to a notorious Yemeni arms dealer.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Brazilian Army’s cybersecurity command actively monitored civilians who took part in protests like this one in São Paulo in 2013. Credit Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

A São Paulo judge sent shock waves across Brazil last month with a ruling that required Brazilian telecommunications operators to block the use of the instant messaging platform WhatsApp for 48 hours. Less than 13 hours later, another São Paulo judge reversed the decision, restoring service. But in the meantime, as many as 100 million Brazilians had been seriously inconvenienced, and civil libertarians around the world looked on with dismay.

Brazilians take their social media very seriously. The country has one of the fastest growing populations of Internet users in the world. Online tools like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are used not only to express opinions; they are an affordable alternative to exorbitantly priced Brazilian telecom providers.…  Seguir leyendo »

During the 1980s, El Salvador was the single largest recipient of U.S. military hardware and weaponry in the Western Hemisphere. Although the Central American country’s civil war ended in 1992, the guns, grenades and bullets linger, as do their murderous effects. In September, a U.S. official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated that half the weapons available on El Salvador’s vibrant black market were made in the United States.

Although some arms and ammunition were undoubtedly illegally trafficked from the United States, and Latin American authorities routinely blame shadowy foreign arms dealers for running guns to Central and South America, the real source is probably much closer to home: local military and police arsenals.…  Seguir leyendo »

With just two months to go until the start of the World Cup, a sense of panic is gripping Rio. Cariocas, as the city’s residents are known, are less concerned about whether stadiums will be built on time than with the direction of the state police department’s once-lauded pacification program. The pacification police units — or UPPs — were intended to retake control of neighborhoods previously controlled by heavily armed drug barons, with the goal of eventually reintegrating these communities back into the city.

Many people now fear that the pacification police units are unraveling and that violence in some of Rio’s 600 slums — known as favelas — is getting out of control.…  Seguir leyendo »

South America’s powerhouse faces tough dilemmas in 2014.

Brazil is hastily preparing to host two of the world’s premier mega-events: the World Cup starting in June and the Olympics just 24 months later. While it has come under heavy criticism for the slow pace of preparations, among other things, this is a country that knows how to throw a party.

Meanwhile, the government is gearing up for a repeat of last year’s social protests. In 2013, more than 1 million people flooded the streets to denounce poor-quality services, the skyrocketing cost of living and the deterioration in public safety. Brazil faces profound problems with violence, including more homicides than any other nation and an exploding prison population.…  Seguir leyendo »

A text message was the first sign that something was wrong. In the week after Hurricane Sandy hit Haiti, our research team was assessing post-disaster crime, food security and service provision. The message came from a Haitian researcher in our group, an enthusiastic and talented graduate student whom we’ll call Wendy. She had been walking alone a few blocks from our hotel when she was forced into a house and brutally raped.

We quickly located a doctor but he refused to examine Wendy, saying she needed to be seen by the authorities first. We then contacted the police, and after a grueling interview in which one officer repeatedly asked Wendy, “What did you do to make him violate you?” the police said she was free to be examined.…  Seguir leyendo »

Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, there have been at least 60,000 civilian deaths that wouldn’t otherwise have occurred. Or maybe that number is closer to 650,000. Between 1998 and 2004, 5.4 million people died in a war and its aftermath in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Or was it one-fifth that number? In Haiti, fewer than 46,000 people were killed in the January 2010 earthquake. Or perhaps the death toll was more than 300,000.

The science of measuring mortality and morbidity is controversial. There are bitter disputes among groups of researchers who study death tolls in the world’s hot spots.…  Seguir leyendo »